If David Price hits David Ortiz with another pitch somewhere down the line, it's going to be on, according to the Boston Red Sox slugger. Ortiz was fed up following Friday night's chapter in Boston's ongoing feud with the Tampa Bay Rays, which began with Price drilling him in the hip with a first inning pitch that appeared to be intentional.
That set off a bizarre night that resulted in three different acting Red Sox managers getting ejected despite Boston pitching never hitting a batter. Later in the game Price plunked Mike Carp, which emptied the benches for the second time in five days with those two teams on the field. Price was not ejected despite the warnings, which only fueled Boston's angst. Red Sox starter Brandon Workman was ejected however after throwing behind Evan Longoria in the sixth inning.
It was a tension filled near four hours of baseball. But those were just the fireworks on the field. There were more to come during the postgame media sessions as well, which is to be expected when players like Ortiz and Price are involved. Both are among the more outspoken and passionate players in the game, and on Friday Ortiz especially wasn't holding back.
That wasn't all Ortiz had to say. Here are a few more of his personal comments courtesy of Comcast SportsNet New England:
"You can’t be acting like a little girl out there," said Ortiz. "You’re not going to win every time. When you give it up, that’s an experience for the next time. If you’re going act like a little [expletive] when you give it up, bounce back and put your teammates in jeopardy, that’s going to cost you."
Ortiz made it clear that the actions belong to Price and Price alone.
"He knew he screwed up,'' said Ortiz. "He did that on his own. No manager sent him. No player was comfortable with the situation. He did that on his own. Which is (expletive). He can get somebody else hurt. You can't be doing that (stuff).''
The bad blood between Price and Ortiz actually dates back to Game 2 of last season's ALDS when Price felt like Ortiz was showing him up. So there's some speculation and debate that Price's pitch may have been his response to that game.There's a strong belief Price really was acting on his own, but not in retaliation for the unwritten rules flap that played out on May 25.
We probably won't know the real answer to that question anytime soon, because Price was playing it coy on Friday.
"I've got to establish my fastball in," Price said. "I've got six lefties in that lineup. It's my favorite side of the plate to go to."
There's a difference between establishing a fastball in and hitting a guy between the numbers. Farrell realizes as much, and he pointed out why he so strongly felt Price was coming after Ortiz.
"David's [Price] a heck of a pitcher," Farrell said. "He comes in with two hit batters and eight walks on the year. He's got the lowest walk-rate in the American League. And when he throws a ball and hits David Ortiz in the back, there is intent to that. And they can dispute that all they want, there is intent to that pitch. As emphatic as [umpire] Dan Bellino's warning was, it sure seemed like Dan Bellino felt like there was intent as well."
Farrell also felt like the umpires did a poor job managing the situation and actually allowed it to escalate by not ejected Price on the second hit batter. A lot of people felt that way as it played out, but it was Bellino's judgment that Price didn't intend to hit Carp.
It's a lot to sort through and debate. What we know for sure is the series will continue on Saturday and Sunday, and though Price will be nowhere near either of those games, there's more than enough hard feelings here to anticipate yet another chapter in this ongoing battle.
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